MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Duke baseball team scored the first seven runs of the game then held off a late Coastal Carolina charge to earn a 7-5 victory over the Chanticleers Sunday evening at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark to close out the Caravelle Resort Tournament.
The Blue Devils built a 7-0 lead behind a standout performance from starter James Marvel (2-1), who held Coastal Carolina (4-7) scoreless through 7.0 innings. The Moraga, Calif., native scattered three hits while striking out a season-high six batters to earn his second consecutive win.
The Chanticleers came storming back with five runs in the bottom of the eighth, but senior Robert Huber was able to get the final five outs of the game to preserve the Blue Devils’ seventh victory of the season.
“I thought it was a gutsy performance by our team,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “The first seven innings, we were really good in all three phases. I thought we had a really good offensive approach against a very good arm. We had good at bats. We were getting guys in scoring position and we got the big hit from Rosenfeld. We were opportunistic. Marvel used it. He pitched a great ball game. We made it a little bit interesting, but Huber made the pitches that he had to make. That’s what a closer does and that’s a great job on his part.”
Junior Grant McCabe reached base four times in five total plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two RBI and a run scored. Senior Jordan Betts and sophomore Kenny Koplove added two hits each, while senior Mike Rosenfeld belted a three-run homer in the third.
Duke put the leadoff man aboard in each inning from the second through the fifth, scoring all seven runs in that span. Ryan Deitrich’s second double of the season began the second, extending the right fielder’s hit streak to seven games. After advancing to third, Deitrich would score the first run of the night from third on a Koplove infield single.
The Blue Devil offense kept at it in the third, taking a 4-0 lead following Rosenfeld’s home run. Aaron Cohn and McCabe set the table for Rosenfeld with back-to-back singles and the senior catcher lifted his first homer of the season into the stands behind left field.
Three more Duke runs crossed home plate in the fourth after consecutive singles and a walk loaded the bases with no one out. A balk call plated the first run before McCabe followed with a two-run base knock through the right side to make it a 7-0 Blue Devil advantage.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with no one out to kickstart a five-run eighth for Coastal Carolina. A Connor Owings fielder’s choice plated the Chanticleers’ first run, and Zach Remillard smacked a bases-clearing double down the left field line to narrow the margin to 7-4. Remillard would go on to score on a wild pitch before Huber got two key strikeouts to preserve the lead.
Duke appeared to be in trouble again in the ninth as Coastal put the first two men on with an infield single and bloop base hit to right field. Huber got leadoff hitter Jake Kane looking on a 3-2 pitch for the first out before inducing a fly ball to center and popup to shortstop for the final outs of the game.
“Credit Coastal for having a really good approach in the eighth,” Pollard added. “They strung some good at bats together. I thought they hit a couple of pretty decent pitches. We walked a couple guys and we allowed that inning to snowball on us on the mound. In the ninth, I really thought start to finish that [Huber] made the pitches he needed to make. It kind of looked like things were snowballing on us again like they did in the eighth. He went 3-1 on the leadoff hitter, and the job Huber did from that point forward … I think he certainly earned that closer role this weekend.”
Dalton Moats (1-2) suffered the loss for the Chanticleers, permitting six runs on eight hits over 3.0 innings of work.
Duke returns to action Tuesday, March 4, hitting the road for a 3 p.m. game at Liberty.